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Pagan Homeschoolers: Curriculum Thread - Page 4

post #61 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezer75 View Post
My kidlets are only 3 and 4 so we aren't schooling yet. We probably will be in the realm of "waldorf unschoolers" in the end though. Waldorf really sings to my heart. The good thing is that Waldorf is very tailorable to your own needs if you make your own curriculum.
This sounds exactly like where I am at with my 13 month old daughter. I generally love the Waldorf framework and I'm thrilled with Seasons of Joy for her. I just got the spring booklet to focus on learning rhymes and verses as well as helping me add beauty to the rhythm I've developed from reading the Seasons of Joy blog as well as the Parenting Passageway blog. Both of those occasionally have some Christian comments but mostly are very serious about only exploring Steiner.
post #62 of 151
An addition to this thread - I read a wonderful article last week in the zine, The Pagan and the Pen. It was about how to incorporate pagan values into children's lives when you are not overtly teaching them a path. I thought it was really well written with ideas applicable to many homeschoolers.

What do we teach them?
post #63 of 151
I use Moving Beyond the Page, and I don't find religious references or bias, although we're still at a young age with it. I did choose topics from there based on what DD wanted to know, big questions I wanted to investigate with her this year, and I do try to tie some of the units to the time of year. I can come back later to explain.
post #64 of 151
ooh, I am starting Moving Beyond the Page for my DD for 3rd grade, I am TOO excited about it.
post #65 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdiaz View Post
An addition to this thread - I read a wonderful article last week in the zine, The Pagan and the Pen. It was about how to incorporate pagan values into children's lives when you are not overtly teaching them a path. I thought it was really well written with ideas applicable to many homeschoolers.

What do we teach them?
Great article. Interesting site, too. Thanks!
post #66 of 151
post #67 of 151
Hi, how is everyone doing?

I've been reading The Adventures of Thor, The Thunder God with my 3 and 6 year olds -- a perfect book for them -- I think we'll really be celebrating Thorsday this week!

I think it was discussed upthread, and I'm sure I'm stating the obvious, but it is on my mind right now how the names of the days of the week/months of the year as a non-Christian cycle that is embedded in our lives just work so *well* as a way to a study of Pagan mythology/history, Norse and Roman, anyway.

It would make a nice diy curriculum, I was thinking, researching the history of the words Sun and Moon for Sunday and Monday (and how the astronomical sun and moon inevitably shape our measurement of time and how worship of the sun and moon are the heart of so many religions). Looking at the appropriate Norse dieties that Tuesday through Friday were named for, then transitioning to Roman mythology/history for Saturday and the months of the year....

So many of the holidays our culture celebrates are Christian, but the way we measure time itself is just inescapably earth-centred, Pagan....

Can anyone recommend a good book for younger elementary age children that references the Sumerians as inventors of the 60 minutes hour/24 hour day etc. ? Or on comparative calenders of the ancient world?
post #68 of 151
we got this from the library a few months ago. i loved it!

The Time Book: A Brief History from Lunar Calendars to Atomic Clocks
post #69 of 151
OK, thinking aloud here...

A lot of people in the thread find it hard to use (or at least, annoying to use) books that have a seasonal aspect since the seasons in the book often don't reflect the seasons outside the door! But I'm wondering what options exist to address this?

I guess I'm thinking that a curric is generally designed to lead from a starting point A to an ending point B. So skills and info lead into more advanced skills/info. Without putting the seasonal component all off on it's own, I can't think of a good way to have both a "progression" and an "adaptive" seasonal program. I'm not sure that sentence makes sense anywhere outside of my head though.

For example, we planted seeds on Ostara. But in rural upstate NY we are sure to have a few more snow storms, in fact we had snow just this past weekend. So the idea of gardening (outside) on Ostara is a bit silly. So we planted seeds in a window "greenhouse" and we'll bring the seedlings outside in late May. Now, I can totally design a curric where the "seasonal" aspect is on it's own. But what I've been trying to do is tie everything together.... so the "math" portion involves counting seeds and adding up germination times and measuring precipitation while the "science" looks inside the seed (and eggs) and discusses how they grow, as well as how clouds are formed and how nature starts "waking up" in the spring (syrup collection, bird migration, etc).

But the thing is... the math problems need to build upon the previous math problems and prepare students for future math problems (like using shadow length to determine the height of a sunflower for example). And if the math is worked into the seasonal element, well, then you can't adjust the seasons without throwing off the academic side.

Any ideas on a fix? Is there something obvious staring me in the face? Thanks!
post #70 of 151
uh, your daughter is 5?

maybe you are overthinking and overplanning? how about just focusing on the joy and see what evolves? i would stick to "natural" learning... as in, when i plan a garden i never do that kind of math. i do however do math regarding square feet and rows, and how many plants i need, and how long till harvest etc. i also do math in regards to how tall plants grow and which belong where.

it makes much more sense to me to do the kind of math that comes naturally with doing something rather than taking a situation and inserting math (or any "subject")

HTH!
post #71 of 151
this was sent to me by a friend. i don't know how good it it, but i seems worth a look.

http://www.proudtobepagan.com/kidshome.htm
post #72 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
Hi, how is everyone doing?


It would make a nice diy curriculum, I was thinking, researching the history of the words Sun and Moon for Sunday and Monday (and how the astronomical sun and moon inevitably shape our measurement of time and how worship of the sun and moon are the heart of so many religions). Looking at the appropriate Norse dieties that Tuesday through Friday were named for, then transitioning to Roman mythology/history for Saturday and the months of the year....
I have (accidentally) approached this without any true purpose. But, her interest has evolved naturally. I just follow her lead so that might not be what you want. But, I'll share this example.

DD's name is "Mari" and we often just call her "Mar". When we studied space earlier this year, she thought it was great that she had her own planet--Mar's Mars.

As February turned into March, she had a favorite month as well. As we studied more Spanish, she realized that Tuesday -- martes -- was her favorite day. She started making a connection here that these were all related. I then explained all the days of the week, connection to the planets, and also that they were related to gods' names, etc.

I have not stepped in and announced--today we are going to learn about the ancient gods. But, it's slowly evolving and it's all based on the discoveries she is making and her interests.

Holli
post #73 of 151
Thread Starter 
Clay- as a stand alone curriculum, I agree, incorporating all areas of study into the seasons can be tricky.

For the infant/toddler curriculum, I am looking at using the elements as a way of organizing it. This would allow for adding in seasons, as well, as area of study. (using areas of study, very, very loosely)

Aubergine- great idea!

For me, there is just so much great stuff out there to use, it is overwhelming at times but at the same time, pulling it all together, the good pagan resources seem to be lacking in some areas.

I need to get dinner on the stove...be back
post #74 of 151
umami mommy- Since I've been rambling aloud about this for a while over on the pagan monthly thread, I forgot to preface my musings... I've been working on a k-5 stand alone curriculum that meets state standards from a pagan (rather than christian) perspective for a few years now. So I'm trying to make sure everything makes sense and progresses from one stage to another while hitting the expected academic "check points" to allow for standardized testing and all that stuff.

Right now it's sort of a pagan "well trained mind" or "charlotte mason" (lists of books and subjects by year) but I'd like to have it more like, oh, maybe sonlight or oak meadow.... kind of a pagan "school in a box" curriculum (so everything put together, tied together, and progressing at standard). That way people could either purchase the "reading list" version or the "full curriculum" version to suit their needs. While the "reading list" version might be helpful to an unschooling family, that's not really the niche I'm looking to fill.

Hmmm... maybe if there was a seperate "seasonal craft" option where it was more of a stand alone? There is still a certain amount of "building on" in terms of crafty skills but not as much as in academic subjects, so there would be a lot more freedom in terms of which crafts were done when.

For my own dd... well, she may be turning 5 next week, but she already reads on her own, is obsessed with steam engines (actually, she is very "steampunk" at the moment, made herself a bustle skirt to wear over her jeans at preschool, and has been working with DH to design a stream locomotive that would work in vacuum so she could have a train to mars), and loves math (which boggles my mind because I'm totally not a math person... but she is, so I make sure we have numbers in just about everything). She has basic addition and subtraction down cold and has been poking away at multiplication (using rabbits ) She has attended a waldorf/enki preschool for two years now and while I love the gentle rhythms she has been begging for a more "academic" approach... so come fall she'll be diving into Calvert. Our religion shapes a lot of our daily activity (I'm a kitchen witch, everything does double duty in terms of mundane/spiritual) so I'm actually not really thinking about my own kiddos in terms of pagan education. I'm more wondering about shaping a stand alone, standards matched, k-5 program for pagan (and especially non-wiccan) families.

On a related topic... if you identify more as wiccan, there are a number of "workbooks" for wiccan children available. They wouldn't work for our family (we're not wiccan), but check them out if you are! Witch's Primer and First Workbook, for example. Other books, like Aidan's First Full Moon or Ordinary Girl-Magical Child are great resources too. I have those and they're a lot of fun.
post #75 of 151
clay, we are unschoolers, so i have to say i don't know much of anything about the different curricula out there.

i have been a teacher at wild ginger witchcamp, and an organizer and pixie path leader at vermont witchcamp. so i know more about working with kids (and adults) in the context of learning about witchcraft.. (though much of my master's work was on feminist pedagogy) the "academic" stuff just happens naturally in our house, so i don't focus much on it. DS also loves numbers and math, but prefers to work stuff out on his own and ask for help when he needs it.

i am interested in your take on what it means to you to be a "non-wiccan pagan."

good luck on your project! mine is taking forever.
post #76 of 151


Well, "Pagan" is such a big umbrella... Wicca is certainly one path that falls under the pagan umbrella, but there are plenty of paths that have relatively little in common with wicca. So (for example) a workbook that discussed a duotheistic complimentary Godess/God understanding of the divine might appeal to a Wiccan family, but wouldn't be as applicable to a family in the Church of All Worlds, or an Asatru family, or an Irish Recon family, or a classical Polytheistic family, or (lords and ladies of light save us) an Erisian family.

There's a nice article about wicca vs witch vs pagan on the Reclaiming homepage here. (disclaimer, I was a member of a Reclaiming group for many years and am still very fond of that path. So I tend to agree more than disagree with their view of the world.)

What I'd like to offer is a more "generally" pagan curriculum... so using terms like vernal equinox or winter solstice instead of ostara or yule (since one is a universal/natural/planetary event while the other is a socio-culturally constructed event that doesn't apply to all pagans). Or starting a study of "american history" with, say, the planet itself and the break up of pangaea/laurasia and then following the progress through the "eyes" of a tree or a squirrel instead of the "eyes" of humanoids crossing the land bridge, or landing in viking long boats, or eventually showing up with columbus or the folks at plymouth. So not really "teaching pagan theology/technique" but instead teaching the various academic subjects from a pagan worldview.

I guess I look at curriculum like Rod & Staff, or A Beka, or Sonlight, or the Noah Plan, or even the Well Trained Mind or Charlotte Mason reading lists, and they have such a strong christian focus.... an assumption of what is important, or what is normal, or a way of looking at the world that comes through in every subject, even those that don't seem "religious" at first glance. So I'd like to offer a full curriculum, that meets state standards and provides a strong academic progression, but where the assumptions and norms and literature selections and examples and projects and crafts are more earth centered/pagan friendly/nature affirmative.

Similar in some ways to the Global Village peace/ecology/justice curriculum where the various subjects are taught from a multicultural perspective.

(oh... different curriculum styles... the Homeschool Diner has a fabulous overview of different philosophies, styles, and curriculums here. It's a fun site, and worth a browse.)
post #77 of 151
clay, i am a reclaiming trad witch and was also an HPS in a very traditional wiccan coven about 14 years ago. so i know intellectually what the differences are. but i was hoping to hear what your take on the whole thing is.

(since star still refers to herself as wiccan even though the reclaiming and feri trads say they are not wiccan.)

want 10 different opinions about paganism? ask 10 pagans....
post #78 of 151
Thread Starter 
Oh, yes- last year I helped a new friend bless her house. She had invited a very wide array of people, one of whom was pagan and then there was me. I don't call the 4 corners when beginning a ritual and she gave me such a look. *shrug* It felt forced to me- I like to do what is natural when I can.

Anyway, a bit off topic.

I am hoping to have the infant/toddler curriculum up and running by next spring, but as I develop it, I may put it on a website.

At one time, our UU church was asking members to go through the children's book library, looking at the story and seeing how it applied to the founding principles. I really liked this idea- it was kind of centering-keeping a focus on specific ideas/values, while also being broad. I would love to see a similar idea developed for books that aren't specifically pagan, but are nature/earth centered. Of course, creating one set of principles to fall under the very large pagan umbrella could be challenging. Thoughts? As a parent, would you find this helpful? Ideas and activites go be developed to go along with it.
post #79 of 151
karen, i'm not sure what "calling the corners" are, but i am guessing you mean invoking the elemental energies?

i have heard some people refer to this as "calling the directions." since what you are actually doing is inviting in the elemental energies to assist your magical work in the circle. i find this common to both wiccan and non-wiccan pagan rituals, however, it's not really required for circles with kids. though i do have a really fun way to create sacred space with kids. including the elemental version of the hokey pokey!

i have found many pagans distainful of wiccans in general, but what i can say is i got an amazingly comprehensive education in energy work. something i find is missing is other trads. despite whatever other criticisms i have about my old trad, i did receive some wonderful gifts from them and i am very grateful for the time i spent training and practicing with them.

it's been invaluable in my reclaiming work and my work with children and my family.
post #80 of 151
Quote:
want 10 different opinions about paganism? ask 10 pagans....
Heck, ask just 5!

It's part of the challenge I guess... coming up with something that is meaningful, or at least helpful, without forcing people to flip past projects or re-write them to fit. Early on my mental image was a curric that was more along the lines of "Celebrating the Great Mother" and less "Circle Round" in that Celebrate was more generic and Circle more specific. Both are great books, but Celebrate leaves more room for interpretation while Circle kind of says "here is the story, here is the song, here is the meaning". Which is nice, but only if you agree that the choosen story/song/meaning is appropriate.

Maybe, like earlier in the thread, it would be easier to think of it in terms of a nature based or earth based program... but I don't want it to be "just" (just! ) an ecological view. Good thing I think this is fun!

Aeress- Have you explored the Global Village site? I'll be ordering their 1st grade curric list (not the full curric, just their title list) and can share more detail when it arrives, but they tried to come up with a living literature approach that is
Quote:
centered on the four core principles of the Earth Charter:

(1) Respect and Care for the Community of Life
(2) Ecological Integrity
(3) Social and Economic Justice
(4) Democracy, Nonviolence, Peace and Diversity
What about using the seasons as the 4 guidelines, then grouping books and activities that relate to the season/attributes of the season? Families could start with whatever "season" is appropriate?

So, something like Spring:
The Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth

eta- Tor just hit the submit button so I'm thinking he feels there is no need for a list
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